Establishing liability for a Rhode Island drunk driving collision is often very simple. It is generally the fault of the person who had too much to drink and then got behind the wheel. After all, no one can get their license without learning about the illegality of drunk driving, and even if it has been years since driver’s education, a motorist will have that particular lesson reinforced by public awareness campaigns and plot lines in popular media. Ideally, the drunk driver who causes the crash will have the insurance or personal resources to fully compensate the people they hurt.
Unfortunately, that isn’t always what happens. Sometimes, those affected by a drunk driver need to look at other ways of recouping their losses. Occasionally a business may have partial liability for a wreck. When is filing a potentially successful claim against a company possible after a drunk driving crash?
If the driver was on the clock
The law generally makes employers culpable for much of what workers do on the clock. That includes choosing to drive drunk while in control of a commercial truck or running to the bank during a shift to get change for the restaurant where they work. If someone was working at the time that they got behind the wheel while intoxicated, their employer may have some degree of financial and legal liability for the crash that they caused.
If the driver just left a bar or restaurant
There are numerous laws in Rhode Island that restrict the service of alcohol in certain scenarios. When there is evidence that a licensed bar or restaurant violated liquor service rules, it may be possible to pursue a lawsuit using the state’s dram shop law. Essentially, businesses that serve someone already drunk or someone not old enough to lawfully drink could be responsible for the damages caused by that impaired motorist after leaving the business.
In either situation, there may be a business insurance policy that will help cover the crash costs. A business will also typically have more resources to help cover someone’s expenses if a lawsuit is necessary. Pursuing every viable option for compensation is often crucial for those harmed in a collision caused by a drunk driver, especially when more than one party may be liable for their injuries.